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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Wednesday
Oct292014

A "Liver-Shiver" from a Pilgrimage to Charles Finney's Grave

Revialist Dutch Sheets recounts a "liver-shiver" upon visiting the grave of America's leading Pelagian, Charles Grandison Finney (h.t. Gary Johnson).

Sheets writes,

Perhaps it was to honor the memory of Finney, a faithful son; or, since awakening and harvest is what Finney so powerfully represents, maybe it was a confirmation that God is, indeed, going to give us another great awakening; and it could have been to remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves—that the great cloud of witnesses is watching and cheering us on, knowing fully that we're the continuation of their efforts (Heb. 11:39-12:2). Whatever His reason for choosing this time and place, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon me. I was re-mantled and re-anointed.

Swell, just what America needs, another "re-mantled" and "re-anointed" follower of Charles Finney leading a revival of Pelgianism.  Part of me is very glad that John Calvin is buried in an unmarked grave.

Tuesday
Oct282014

"The Word became Flesh" -- John 1:1-18

The Fourth in a Series on the Gospel of John

There is a reason why Christians love advent and the Christmas season.  Advent is the time of year on the church calendar when we sing about, and celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the word become flesh.  It is not only a marvel to us that a virgin conceived the very son of God, but the eternal word who was God, and who created all things, took to himself a true human nature to save us from our sins.  The light of the world came to save the world trapped in darkness.  The creator becomes the redeemer.  Although we cannot see God because his glory is too much for our sinful eyes, God has revealed himself and his glory supremely in the person of Jesus Christ.  The incarnation is not only the wonder of wonders, but the incarnation is the central theme of the prologue of John, and the basis for everything which is subsequently revealed in the Gospel.

As we wrap up our three week study of the prologue to John’s Gospel, before, Lord willing, we move into the body of the Gospel next time when we take up with verse 19, of John chapter one.  As we have seen throughout our time in the first 18 verses of John’s Gospel, the prologue functions like the foyer to building–the prologue is the entrance to the Gospel itself.  Virtually every line and doctrine in the prologue will be restated later on in the gospel.  So, if we are familiar with the prologue to John’s Gospel, we’ll be prepared to understand the gospel.  The prologue tells us who Jesus is–the world become flesh.  The body of John’s Gospel is the record of the revelation of God’s glory.

In the previous two sermons, we have spent time considering a number of the key points set forth by John in the opening verses.  In verses 1-3, we covered the familiar words from John which echo Genesis 1:1-2:3 and the creation account.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”  In these verses, John establishes three fundamental Christian doctrines:  First, the deity of Jesus Christ (the logos was with God for all eternity), meaning Jesus has no beginning or end; second, the fact that the logos (the word) is distinct from God is the basis for the distinction between the persons of the Father and the Son, a distinction which also underlies the doctrine of the Trinity; and finally, these verses tell us that God created all things through Jesus Christ.

Then, we took note of the fact that in verses 4-5 of the prologue, John introduces a contrast between darkness and light–a contrast which we will find throughout what follows.  When using these terms in connection with the creation account (as in these two verses), darkness refers to the fact that nothing whatsoever existed before Jesus created the heavens and the earth–except the Triune God who enjoyed an eternal and perfect inter-Trinitarian fellowship.  There was only darkness (nothingness) until God spoke, and in that way, John says, darkness was overcome by light when Jesus created all things.  

Next, says John of the logos, “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  It is Jesus who is the light, as well as the author of all life.  Although John is referring to creation in these verses, it soon becomes apparent that John is also using the darkness and light imagery in reference to human sin and God’s redeeming grace.  When Jesus created all things, light dispelled the darkness.  But when Adam sinned, the human race was once again plunged into darkness, and darkness becomes John’s preferred metaphor for evil and willful ignorance of the truth.  In fact, in chapter 3, John will tell us that people prefer to live in darkness because the light exposes what we do, revealing the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Oct272014

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (October 27-November 2)

Sunday Morning (November 2):  We are returning to our sermon series on 1 Peter.  This Lord's Day we will turn our attention to 1 Peter 4:12-19, and Peter's call to Christians to prepare for suffering.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Note:  Daylight Savings Ends

Sunday AfternoonWe are continuing our study of the Canons of Dort, and we are currently in the 3rd/4th Head of Doctrine.  We are discussing the consequences of rejecting the doctrine of original sin (Refutation of Errors, paragraph 1).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (October 29):  We continue our study of the Book of Romans with a rapid-fire "run through Romans."  We will work our way through Romans 5-6.  Bible Study begins at 7:30 p.m.

Academy (October 31):  Prof. Ken Samples continues his six week series entitled, "If I Had Lunch with St. Augustine." Ken's third lecture is entitled, "Augustine’s Key Spiritual Insight."

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

Sunday
Oct262014

"A Righteousness from God" -- Philippians 3:1-11

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon for Reformation Sunday, based upon  Zechariah's discussion of Joshua the High priest (Zechariah 3:1-10 and Paul's discussion of a righteousness from God in Philippians 3:1-11.

Click Here

Sunday
Oct262014

This Week's White Horse Inn

Renaissance

At the very time that many Christians have shifted their focus from the unchanging gospel to the transformation of culture, countless churches have been transformed in the name of relevance into Christian entertainment centers with motivational speakers. So are we actually changing the culture, or are we being changed by it? Is cultural transformation something we should focus on in the first place? On this program, Michael Horton discusses these questions and more with Os Guinness, author of Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times.

Click here

Sunday
Oct262014

Audio from Ken Samples' Academy Lecture (10/24/14)

Here's the audio from Ken Samples' second lecture on Augustine, entitled " Augustine’s Most Influential Book."

Click Here

Friday
Oct242014

Banned by Google, Twitter News, and a New Book

For the last few months, The Riddleblog (along with anything I've posted here) does not show up in a google search.  The tech folks at Squarespace can't find any bad code or problems on this end.

Anyone ever encounter this before?  Am I banned?  It is probably from posting those Third Eagle videos . . .

Some of you have asked why I'm not on Twitter.  The answer is "I hate Twitter."  But, Christ Reformed Church has a Twitter feed, and my blog is now linked to it.  So, you can follow The Riddleblog by clicking on the @christ_ref link under the social media header on the right.

Not only do you get Riddleblog updates, but Andrew Compton's blog (Reformed Reader) is also linked to the C-Ref Twitter feed, as is Daily Confession.

Last, but not least . . .  Some big book news coming.  I'm sworn to secrecy for another week or two, but watch for a big announcement.  (No, my two kingdoms book is not yet finished).  But I'm pretty excited about it and have been working on it as I can.

Friday
Oct242014

Friday Feature -- "The Marriage of Figaro" in a Prison Yard

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite moves.

Tuesday
Oct212014

"The True Light" -- John 1:1-18

The Third in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

In John’s purpose statement (chapter 20:30-31) he tells us why he wrote his gospel.  “These [things] are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life ain his name.”  If Jesus’ preaching and miracles prove that he is the Christ and the Son of God, why is it that people (including his own people, the Jews) reject him?  John will tell us why people do not believe the gospel using the familiar metaphor of darkness and light.  The reason why people reject the creator and redeemer of the world is because our deeds are evil. We hate it when the light (the truth that is in Jesus Christ and as expressed in the law and gospel) exposes us for what we are–sinners in need of a Savior.

As we continue our series on the Gospel of John, we are making our way through the prologue (the first 18 verses) of this gospel.  As we saw last time, John’s prologue is densely-packed with important theological truths, all designed introduce us to the central figure of John’s Gospel–Jesus Christ, the eternal word of God (logos) made flesh.  Virtually every point made by John in this prologue will reappear later on in the body of the gospel.  So, if we are familiar with John’s prologue, we will better understand the events which unfold in John’s Gospel, which opens in verse 19 of chapter one when our Lord begins his public ministry.  By knowing who Jesus is as he is revealed prologue to John, we already know that Jesus is God in human flesh, that one through whom God reveals himself to his people.

In the opening words of John’s prologue we learn that Jesus is the word (logos), and that the word was God, yet distinct from God.  We also learn that the word created all things.  As John tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”  From this important declaration come the Christian doctrines of the deity of Jesus Christ, the distinction between the Father and the Son (underlying the doctrine of the Trinity), and the fact that is was through Jesus that God created all things.  In fact, you cannot be a Christian without believing these things.  More to the point, you cannot truly understand John’s gospel without knowing these things before you read it.   

As we read in verses 4-5 regarding the logos (Jesus), “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  Throughout John’s Gospel the terms “life” and “light” will be used in connection with our salvation from sin, but in the opening words to the prologue of John’s Gospel we see these terms used specifically in connection with creation.   Echoing the creation account in Genesis 1:1-2:3, John tells us that Jesus is the source of all things, including life, having the source of life in himself (cf. John 5:26).  In fact, it was through Jesus Christ that God created all things.  Furthermore, Jesus is the light, which, as we saw, may be a reference to the fact that each one of us are created in God’s image, or to the fact that Jesus is the one who illumines our minds so that we know and understand truth.  John may even be referring to both. 

To read the rest of this sermon:   Click Here

Monday
Oct202014

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (October 20-26) - Reformation Sunday and Our Nineteenth Anniversary!

Note:  The picture above is of our first service in Anaheim.  Previously, Christ Reformed Church held our services in Michael Horton's living room, and then in a Lutheran Church in Placentia.

Sunday Morning (October 26):  We celebrate our 19th anniversary and Reformation Sunday by considering Paul's discussion of righteousness in Philippians 3:1-11.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

New Members Class (9:00 a.m.):  Our Fall new members class continues with a discussion of the privileges and responsibilities of church membership.  Inquirers welcome!

Sunday AfternoonKen Samples will discussing the Belgic Confession.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (October 8):  We continue our study of the Book of Romans with a rapid-fire "run through Romans."  We'll be convering Romans 3-5.  Bible Study begins at 7:30 p.m.

New Academy Series:  Prof. Ken Samples continues his six week series entitled, "If I Had Lunch with St. Augustine." Ken's second lecture is entitled, "Augustine’s Most Influential Book."

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church